Combining all the best things you could dream of – impressive line-ups, cracking tunes, snow-capped mountains and the wildest crowds – Europe‘s ski festivals really are the only way to celebrate this winter. From the world-renowned Snowbombing to the smaller electro, rock and indie music festivals, here’s our pick of the best.
Snowbombing – Mayrhofen, Austria
Snowbombing really is the king of all European ski and music festivals. Each Easter, the festival takes over the quaint Austrian town of Mayrhofen and it’s not one to be missed. With previous headliners that include The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim and Rudimental, plus many more acts, they really go the whole hog. From the annual street party, to raves in the woods and discoing on the pistes, the festival engulfs resort.
Horizon – Arinsal, Andorra
Although Horizon used to be based in Bulgaria, they have now moved home to Arinsal in Andorra, which is tucked away in the Pyrenees between Spain and France. An added bonus is that the sales tax is very low, making your holiday all the more cheaper: as a rough guide, you can expect to buy a pint for around €3-4. Over the week you’ll see a host of internationally renowned DJs – last year saw Ben UFO, Midland, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Craig Charles perform.
Snowboxx – Avoriaz, France
Your Easter ski week just got a whole lot more interesting, with a lineup featuring some of the biggest names in house, disco, drum & bass and dubstep – previous headliners include Blonde, Sigma, Bicep and Stormzy. As Avoriaz is part of the Portes du Soleil ski pass, you can venture through 12 resorts, both Swiss and French, with an almighty 286 pistes, making this spot the perfect cure for indulgent après-ski partying.
Polaris – Verbier, Switzerland
This December, Polaris are starting the party every afternoon on the slopes at the main stage The Mouton Noir, in the heart of Verbier. Once you’ve watched your favourite DJs play as the sun sets, the party continues throughout the night at either Farinet, Farm Club, Casbah, L’étoile or Le Crock No Name. Boasting Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers, Derrick May, Nina Kraviz, Seth Troxler and Omar-S, this festival is a collection of disco, house and techno in our favourite Swiss resort.
The Ronnie Loves Music Festival – Méribel, France
Easter time means none other than The Ronnie Loves Music, held at a beloved après-ski bar in Méribel. Last year saw the Sunset Sons as well as the funk and soul king Craig Charles take to the decks to giddy up the crowd, before revellers flocked to the centre of town, continuing their night out into the early hours in O’Sullivans.
Rise Festival – Les Deux Alpes, France
Start your festive celebrations early and a little differently this year by heading out to the Alps to enjoy a week of snow, music and frivolities. Les Deux Alpes sits at 1,650m (5,414 feet), while the lifts run to 3,600m (11,811 feet), which usually guarantees snow, making for a magical setting. This December, the festival is hosting Craig David, Wilkinson, Bicep, Denis Sulta among others.
Zermatt Unplugged – Zermatt, Switzerland
It really doesn’t get more blissful than listening to live music with the backdrop of the Matterhorn. Focusing more on pop and indie bands, Zermatt Unplugged saw Nelly Furtado, Paolo Nutini, Jess Glynne and KT Tunstall play in 2017, with this edition’s line-up gearing up to be bigger and better.
Live in Tignes by Francofolies- Tignes, France
Francofolies is an annual music festival in La Rochelle, established in 1985, and the same team have brought four days of free live music and concerts to Tignes. The 2018 edition will be the third outing for this festival, which last year saw a DJ surprise set by Cocoon and La Fine Équipe as well as a live performance by Chinese Man.
Rave on Snow – Saalbach, Austria
Another pre-Christmas festival, this Austrian rave brings together some of the finest names in techno and electronic music, with Ben Klock, Sven Väth, Format B and Boris Brejcha set to blow away the crowds in Saalbach.
BERGFESTival – Saalbach, Austria
Another wild event hosted in Saalbach, this time for rock music fans, who can enjoy plenty of performances from international stars as the sun goes down. This year’s 2017 edition saw the fifth year of celebration, welcoming names like Wolfmother, The Subways and Alligatoah for some slopeside rocking.
Rock The Pistes – Portes du Soleil, France
This rad music festival will see its eighth edition run from March 18-24, 2018 in the expansive Portes du Soleil ski area. Each afternoon, starting at midday, DJs get to work playing music on the pistes – you’d best be up early to squeeze in a morning ski!
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